COVID running all over the NFL, but the rookies don’t care! Remember – these are players who your keeper/dynasty teams should absolutely be prioritizing for immediate use and future production in the coming years. Let’s get going.
- James Robinson – Undrafted. Yet here we are looking at another 100 scrimmage yards after rushing for 75 and catching four passes for 32. Not much else to say here, folks. This was a potential league winner. Only cloud is the return of either Devine Ozigbo or Ryquell Armstead.
- Justin Jefferson – Pro Football Focus grades football players. They have done this for every position, particularly wide receivers. There is one player who has graded at 90.6 and is the No. 1 ranked wide receiver after four weeks. How crazy is it that Jefferson is it?
- CeeDee Lamb – Avert your eyes Michael Gallup owners, but this is the Lamb and Amari Cooper show. Dak Prescott threw for 500-plus yards against Cleveland (and lost) and Lamb has caught his eye as a reliable middle of the field AND downfield threat. All aboard!
- Antonio Gibson – OF COURSE this is the week that Antonio Gibson breaks out because he was playing the mighty Baltimore run defense. Eye roll. Don’t let the fact that you didn’t start him cloud the performance. Gibson is the truth for Washington.
- Joshua Kelley – That was … unimpressive. Finally given a shot to star after Austin Ekeler’s horrific hamstring injury, Kelley stepped in and got … 33 total yards. That is not exactly what you’d call fantastic (professional fantasy analysis). Now apparently splitting time with Justin Jackson, Kelley needs to find a way to show that he is the superior between the tackles back to not only take the pressure off of Justin Herbert, but also off of fantasy analysts who picked them up early in the season.
- Damien Harris – Well that was a way to burst onto the scene young man! Finally activated after an early season trip the Injured Reserve, Harris rushed 17 times for exactly 100 yards against Kansas City on Monday. Now since then, we’ve learned that another New England player has tested positive for COVID so keep an eye on its upcoming game, but it is clear that coach Bill Belichick trusts Harris to tote the rock and that means you should, too.
- Tee Higgins – I’m trimming some of the fat around these parts lately and Higgins is one of the reasons why. I have been hesitant to talk this kid up much given the plethora of weapons in Cincinnati, but Higgins is leaving A.J. Green, Auden Tate and John Ross in the dust at this point. After forgetting to show up in Week 1, Higgins has become a reliable (if not somewhat volatile) player for Joe Burrow and the two rookies should continue to let their chemistry grow in the coming weeks.
- Laviska Shenault, Jr. – Did I make a mistake in calling this a “Keeper Stock Watch” and not just “the best rookies we’ve ever seen” list? Kidding aside, in a year with no preseason and limited camp time, it is shocking to see this many rookies making an impact not only on their respective NFL teams, but on your fantasy squad as well. Shenault is another of those who make weekly “wow” plays and will continue to improve as defenses focus on stopping James Robinson and the reemergence of D.J. Chark.
- Darius Slayton – Hey look! Not a rookie! Remember last week when I said Slayton was going to go HAM? Yeah, my bad. My calendar was wonky. I meant this week Slayton would go ham. If not, I will eat an entire pack of bacon. Don’t make me, Slayton. I will.
- Russell Gage – This is almost less about Gage at this point as it is about Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley. Look, I cannot pretend to have any idea what Atlanta was doing Monday night and frankly, I’m not going to try and figure it out. What I do know is that its defense is putrid with a capital gross and the team HAS to throw it a million times a game to have any shot of winning something. Anything. Participation trophy them at this point.
- Joe Burrow/Justin Herbert – Never mind, back to the rookies. Losing your guys to COVID? Frustrated by Matt Ryan throwing it 5 yards into the ground? These two young kids are slinging it all over the field and, if nothing else, will make for a much more exciting Sunday than watching Philip Rivers’ noodle arm flop passes sideways all day.
- Myles Gaskin – Only 13 touches for Gaskin this past weekend and none of them particularly exciting. But he continues to get work so he should continue to be a target of yours. Listen, sometimes the analysis ain’t so pretty, OK? It’s Miami, what are you going to do?
- Brandon Aiyuk – I keep calling Aiyuk Deebo Samuel 2.0, but maybe Samuel was actually Aiyuk, just in Beta? You’re welcome computer geeks and video gamers. I just merged sportsball and technology jargon.
- Jerry Jeudy – I’m trying not to knock Jeudy down too far just because his quarterback play is so atrocious but … his quarterback play is atrocious. The crispest route running in the league still needs someone to throw him passes.
- Diontae Johnson – Hopefully the bye allowed Johnson to heal up and get ready to produce again.
Falling off the list: Preston Williams, Green Bay Guys (I’m done here – You figure out who the next Robert Tonyon will be).
Throughout the season, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on twitter @fantasysharkMJ. If you have any burning questions/topics you’d like me to address, let me know. Good luck and keep keeping ahead of the competition!